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SCREAMING for attention

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ophelia has self-imposed herself into sequester, mainly on top of our bookcase headboard (it's actually pretty big...she has all the necessities up there - food, water, litterbox, a couple beds, toys) because she doesn't like two of our other cats. The feeling is mutual, but that's really not the issue.

My husband is a victim of the economy and is unemployed right now. Ophelia is his cat (also her choice). She's very bonded to him. Therein lies the problem. She knows he's home; she knows he can hear her; she thinks he should spend all day every day with her in the bedroom. She comes down on the bed to snuggle with him and will explore further if the black cats are there but not if either of the calicos are there. She especially likes the morning when I leave and he's still in bed, then she comes down and just wants to snuggle. He'll stay with her for literally a couple hours in the morning. And he does go in and sees her a few times during the day and evening as well as at night. She's not lacking for attention.

When he's on his computer or downstairs and she's awake, she SCREAMS for him. Constantly. I've told him about ignoring her unless she's quiet. We don't want to scare her (i.e. make a loud noise to discourage her screaming) because she's skittish anyway (former feral). He's tried closing the door to the bedroom and she screams even louder for him.

Any other ideas how we can discourage this behavior?
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Ophelia has self-imposed herself into sequester, mainly on top of our bookcase headboard (it's actually pretty big...she has all the necessities up there - food, water, litterbox, a couple beds, toys) because she doesn't like two of our other cats. The feeling is mutual, but that's really not the issue.

My husband is a victim of the economy and is unemployed right now. Ophelia is his cat (also her choice). She's very bonded to him. Therein lies the problem. She knows he's home; she knows he can hear her; she thinks he should spend all day every day with her in the bedroom. She comes down on the bed to snuggle with him and will explore further if the black cats are there but not if either of the calicos are there. She especially likes the morning when I leave and he's still in bed, then she comes down and just wants to snuggle. He'll stay with her for literally a couple hours in the morning. And he does go in and sees her a few times during the day and evening as well as at night. She's not lacking for attention.

When he's on his computer or downstairs and she's awake, she SCREAMS for him. Constantly. I've told him about ignoring her unless she's quiet. We don't want to scare her (i.e. make a loud noise to discourage her screaming) because she's skittish anyway (former feral). He's tried closing the door to the bedroom and she screams even louder for him.

Any other ideas how we can discourage this behavior?
Any chance he could carry her to the computer room with him and make up a little area for her? John has done that for Bijou. He has a little "nest" made for him beside his chair so that Bijou can sit there with him for hours if he so chooses.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
That is an idea, Linda. I'll see if that's something he could do for her, while I'm downstairs (the other 4 usually follow me). It wouldn't work if Annie decided to go see Daddy, though. Serious jealousy between those girls (I tell Earl he should be flattered to have 2 girls fighting for his affections like that. ).

I talked to him more at lunch about it. He's been rewarding bad behavior. She's learned that if she screams enough he'll get sick of listening to her and come see her, which is what she wanted to begin with. She has him wrapped around her little dewclaw and has since she was a kitten, and she knows it. So he's going to try going in to see her periodically when she's quiet and try to ignore her when she's screaming. We'll see how long until he caves.
post #4 of 9
We have a little bit of a different situation. John practices his bass in the computer room with a program he has loaded on the computer there so I insist he keep the door closed in order to hear myself think. Bijou will sit outside and cry to get in and that is why John made up the little nest for him. When Bijou wants to leave he just goes to the door and waits for John to let him out.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
That is an idea, Linda. I'll see if that's something he could do for her, while I'm downstairs (the other 4 usually follow me). It wouldn't work if Annie decided to go see Daddy, though. Serious jealousy between those girls (I tell Earl he should be flattered to have 2 girls fighting for his affections like that. ).

I talked to him more at lunch about it. He's been rewarding bad behavior. She's learned that if she screams enough he'll get sick of listening to her and come see her, which is what she wanted to begin with. She has him wrapped around her little dewclaw and has since she was a kitten, and she knows it. So he's going to try going in to see her periodically when she's quiet and try to ignore her when she's screaming. We'll see how long until he caves.
Aw Heidi. I've never known how you do it with four females and just one male!

Earl can hang in there. It is TOUGH, really.

I think the solution is to adopt a couple more males!

Have you brought Earl ear plugs? Suggested he listen to tunes on a headset? That might help him resist.

Laurie
post #6 of 9
A few suggestions would be to encourage him to allow her to have one on one when he is on the computer, also if he helps establish her safety amongst the other cats and setting some boundaries amongst the pack.
Sorry to say this but the problem is your husband, and this poor kitty is suffering the most. We all to often have to take charge for the men in our lives, this poor cat is suffering! An elevated litter box, food and water is no answer, and she is obviously miserable.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Any chance he could carry her to the computer room with him and make up a little area for her? John has done that for Bijou. He has a little "nest" made for him beside his chair so that Bijou can sit there with him for hours if he so chooses.
That's kind of what I did during Finals Week and I had so much homework. The cats were screaming for attention (well, Nabu & Stimpy were the most). I set 2 cat beds next to where I was doing homework on my laptop and they were very happy to lay next to me.

Ignoring my cats makes us all miserable. Your husband's cat sounds like Nabu.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Aw Heidi. I've never known how you do it with four females and just one male!

Earl can hang in there. It is TOUGH, really.

I think the solution is to adopt a couple more males!

Have you brought Earl ear plugs? Suggested he listen to tunes on a headset? That might help him resist.

Laurie
maybe its a Laurie thing, my name is also Laurie and my hubby and i hav 4 females and one male, let me tell you those females have fights over thier daddy and also have territorial bounderies in place. good luck
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
A few suggestions would be to encourage him to allow her to have one on one when he is on the computer, also if he helps establish her safety amongst the other cats and setting some boundaries amongst the pack.
Sorry to say this but the problem is your husband, and this poor kitty is suffering the most. We all to often have to take charge for the men in our lives, this poor cat is suffering! An elevated litter box, food and water is no answer, and she is obviously miserable.
Actually, until Earl was laid off, Ophelia was quite happy - finally - with the solution to the territorial disputes. This was the solution that provided her with a lot more attention that she was receiving when hiding from the two aggressive females.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBDOLL22 View Post
maybe its a Laurie thing, my name is also Laurie and my hubby and i hav 4 females and one male, let me tell you those females have fights over thier daddy and also have territorial bounderies in place. good luck
And two of Heidi's females are calicos!!!!!!!!!!

I just thank the universe every day that our last rescue turned out to be a male. *phew*

Laurie
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